Visiting cities in Japan is exciting but it is just as much fun to visit natural spots. In this feature, we introduce Mount Kurumayama (車山) in the Yatsugatake Chushin Kogen Quasi-National Park in Nagano prefecture which is part of the Kirigamine Volcano and also the highest point. With spectacular views, if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji.
There are buses to the Mt. Kurumayama hiking trail from Kamisuwa or Chino station on the Chuo train line making it easy to visit from Shinjuku, Tokyo. Once there, you can take lifts to get to the top.
The lift to the top of the mountain operates from 9:00 – 16:00, and the lift down to the bottom operates until 16:30.
The round-trip ticket costs 2,400 yen for adults, 1,600 yen for elementary students, and 800 yen for young children. In addition to the round-trip ticket, there is also a one-way ticket, which you can buy if you want to climb on your own and take the elevator midway.
Each lift has 3 seats.
On getting off the first lift, make sure to use the toilet as there are no toilets at the top.
The view of the mountains that you can enjoy while sitting in the lift is breathtakingly gorgeous.
In summer & spring, the slopes are lush green; in autumn, orange-brown; in winter, snow white. It also turns into a fabulous skiing spot in the winter.
Despite its height, the mountain is easy to climb and even amateurs won’t have any trouble. Along the way, you can enjoy the sight of beautiful seasonal flowers.
Once you arrive at the top, you will a wooden frame with Kurumayama engraved on it. This is a great photo spot as you can frame yourself or just the natural landscape with the blue skies beyond.
This is the view on a sunny summer day. Even though its summer, the temperature at the top is cool due to the gentle breeze.
At this point, you can also see the beautiful view of the city. There is also a photo spot called SKY TERRACE, which is a bit further.
The peak is also home to Kurumayama Shrine, which is at a height of 1923 meters. Although it is just a few white torii (gate), you can take stunning pictures here and seeing shrines at this height is rare. So make sure to stop by.
This structure with a white dome is a weather radar station.
Since the terrain is quite rugged at the top, be careful as you walk along towards the SKY TERRACE.
And this is SKY TERRACE, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the mountains from every angle. There is also a deck, which opened in 2020, for you to take photos.
The top of this mountain is the same height as the clouds.
Here, you are at an altitude of 1925 meters above sea level.
You can enjoy the atmosphere of the beautiful green expanse below
and views of the surrounding mountains around.
On a clear day, you can also see Mount Fuji.
The views of the mountain with clouds above is extremely relaxing.
You can also enjoy the view of the Shirakaba lake from here.
If you are a mountain lover or enjoy nature, this is a highly recommended trip from Tokyo.
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